Fun Fact #6: Not All Retainers are Created Equal
Which retainer is the best? …. The one that is worn consistently!! But seriously, there are lots of retainers out there to choose from. Dr. Henry will recommend and design the perfect retainers for you.
After your braces come off (or you finish your Invisalign treatment), we will make a mold of your beautiful new smile to produce a set of retainers to hold your teeth in their new positions. The type of retainer you need depends on your case. Dr. Henry often recommends a permanent bonded retainer on the lower row (because the lower teeth are most prone to shifting so he likes to have a fixed retainer there), and a clear retainer on the upper row (because it is the most comfortable, protects the teeth from grinding, and fixed retainers don’t work as well on the upper row since they tend to pop off when the lower teeth bump up against them).
Remember, the most important thing, no matter which type of retainer you have, is to wear them as Dr. Henry prescribes. Typically, this will be full time (except for eating) for the first 10 weeks until you come back for a “retainer check-up”. After that, Dr. Henry will switch you to “night-time wear” if everything looks good! There is never a point in which your teeth are “set” and immovable; so there is never a point that you can stop wearing your retainers completely. Even after several years, Dr. Henry will still want you to wear your retainers at least 3 nights per week to make sure your teeth do not shift over time.
Cleaning Your Retainer:
Dr. Henry recommends using either Retainer Brite, or an old toothbrush with warm water and dish soap to clean your removable retainers. Your bonded retainer will be cleaned when you brush (and floss!) your teeth. We have lots of tools in the office to help you, like tiny refillable dish soap bottles to keep in your bathroom, toothbrushes, Retainer Brite tablets, and special flossers that can fit between the teeth for the bonded retainers.
We want you to have straight teeth for a lifetime, and retention is a lifetime process!